Beauty industry calls on Scottish Government to change mask rule

The beauty industry is calling on the Scottish Government to relax face mask rules in salons following Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement this week that non-essential cross-border travel will be permitted from Monday.

By Kirsty Smyth
Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 10:30 pm
Beauty therapists in Scotland are urging the Scottish Government to review rules over face coverings.
Beauty therapists in Scotland are urging the Scottish Government to review rules over face coverings.

Trade organisations are appealing to Holyrood to allow customers to remove masks for beauty treatments, which would bring the nation in line with the rest of the UK.

The no mask, no treatment rule will hit beauty therapists in Berwickshire particularly hard, as clients can easily access facial services in Northumberland.

Debbie Croall, owner of Zing Health & Beauty in Duns, said: “The beauty industry in Scotland is facing discrimination with the no mask no treatment rule.

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

"Other sectors like hospitality and leisure can open with an exemption for face coverings, yet we are told we can open but we can’t do a percentage of our job – especially salons that specialise in face treatments. For some of us, that is 80-90% of our work.”

Masks can be removed in other settings in Scotland, with work such as fillers and cosmetic dentistry able to go ahead.

Yet the guidance states that masks must be worn for treatments by qualified beauty therapists with strict infection control training working in controlled environments.

Despite this, therapists have not been allowed to claim the restriction grant for loss of business through the facial treatment rule.

“Scotland is the only country in the UK with this rule, treatments are allowed to go ahead in every other country,” Miss Croall added.

“Now travel is going to be permitted to England, we will lose business as clients can legally travel to England and have these treatments done there.”

The British Beauty Council along with the National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology and the UK Spa Association have written to Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn, urging him to review the guidance.

Millie Kendall, chief executive of the British Beauty Council, said: “Businesses within the hair, beauty and wellness sector in Scotland are on the brink.

“Whilst the First Minister has outlined her initial plans to reopen and the order by which sectors may be permitted to begin operating, all the while the mask requirement exists, make-up artists, facialists etc are completely unable to operate with no indication of when this might change.

"This is simply unacceptable.”